You will come in contact with all types of people in the workplace. Some will mesh well with your personality and some won’t—it’s just the nature of human relationships. While it’s not imperative that everyone be your best friend, it is important that you learn how navigate challenging personalities if you want to be successful in your career.
If you have not already experienced it, at some point in your career you will be confronted with a worker whose personality rubs you the wrong way. Unfortunately, avoiding that person will not make the problem go away, it will only build a thicker wall between you two—and that’s never productive or beneficial to achieving business goals. Here are some helpful hints that will help you avoid the pitfalls of personality conflicts:
Take the high road
Instead of venting frustrations or letting your emotions get the best of you, determine to stay calm, keep things professional and overlook offenses. A lot of irreversible damage can be done in the heat of the moment. It’s better to take a deep breath (count to 10 if you must) and let it go. How you respond to conflicting situations says a great deal about you as a professional, and it will influence the way others view you as well.
Seek to understand
There may be a multitude of reasons why a person acts the way they do—from mere differences in personality type to underlying circumstances that have imposed undue stress or hardship on that individual. You simply don’t know. For this reason, you should always seek to understand what’s causing the personality clash. Put yourself in their shoes and try to look at things from their perspective. Sometimes, you may find the problem rests with you and you didn’t even realize it.
Work towards resolution
Once you’ve had some time to cool off and consider what’s provoking the personality conflict, go to that individual non-confrontationally and seek resolution. Regardless of who’s to blame, a humble and sincere approach to making amends will bring about the best results. Once you deal with the issues causing the tension, you may discover you have more in common with that person than you realized.
People skills play a big part in your career success. When challenging personalities come your way, consider them tests that will make you wiser and stronger for the road ahead!